Social Bookmarking: track, index and share your web journey

social bookmarking teaser

The Indexed Web contains at least 2.3 billion pages. With that much real estate on the web, how can you be assured you will ever find—and get back to—the information most relevant to you?

The answer is social bookmarking. And it’s not quite the same as the favorite birthday card you used to hold your spot in the novels you read over the summer.

Pinterest: The New, Visual Standard


brock pinterest

Pinterest came on strong in 2012 as the new standard for social bookmarking. It’s very visual, allowing users to create Pinboards for sharing links to pages through the images on them. For a more complete description of how to use this tool in a heritage context, view Terry Brock’s post about it on his “Dirt” blog.

Delicious: The Grandaddy of Social Bookmarking

Jeff Guin's Delicious Bookmarks
View my Delicious bookmarks at

One of the most widely used of these tools is one called “Delicious.” Delicious is a free service that allows the user a web-based way to bookmark sites. This means you can get, and add, to your web bookmarks from any computer, where ever you are. If that weren’t nifty enough, you can also add descriptions and keywords, or “tags” to make sure you will be able to find the right page when you most need it.

It’s called folksonomy, which means anyone can help identify the appropriate context for information on the web. This is one of the pillars of the social web and is also what makes Google work so well: It watches what keywords you search for and tracks what you ultimately choose as the result most relevant to you. With this potentially happening thousands of times over each day, Google can offer up the most appropriate search results in a fraction of a second. Unlike Google’s computerized algorithms, however, pages tagged on Delicious are typed in by humans. And the results, while sometimes quirky, can also be highly relevant to your search.

While you’re there, sign up for your own Delicious account. Not only can you save your own bookmarks, but you can save to accounts of other Delicious users by adding them to your network. In turn, others can share websites they think you might be interested in without clogging your e-mail inbox. Remember, as a social tool your bookmarks are visible to anyone unless you mark them private. This can be an advantage for anyone who uses the web for research in that you can explore Delicious based on a tag and potentially find much more relevant content than an ordinary search engine might provide.

There are many advantages of using a tool like Delicious and best practices for using it to organize your web search. For example,

Delicious could be defined to be both a personal and a public knowledge mapping, discovery and archival system. As with most social services, its usefulness lies in the community that keeps adding, reviewing, filtering, and personalizing their own “view” of relevant knowledge resources. You can actually see patterns evolve over time as information miners learn rapidly how to select, reference, categorize and post information resources of their own interest.

Delicious acts on the very principles of socio-biology and ant-like behavior that are so dear to some innovative thinkers of our time. Individual “netminers” and information seekers explore openly and wildly the vast available online resources. Each one of them pointing and reporting whatever she finds to be most interesting and valuable. Thanks to individual netminers’ discoveries other individuals can rapidly discover the same resources, further annotate them and make them part of their own “preferred” view.
The greater the number of information seekers selecting a certain bit of information the greater the relevance and the darker the visual shading applied to the information.
Delicious is one of the original social networking tools and has seen little in the way of change since being bought by Yahoo several years ago, but there are a few features that keep in truly relevant:
Delicious is also capable of delivering is not only a set of personalized views on your “bookmarks” (which can be as extensive as the number of “tags” or “categories” that you create), but which extends to auto-generating a standard, old-fashioned RSS newsfeed. With add-ons for almost every browser type, users can capture on the fly any content, Web site, article or resource online. No matter on which browser or OS. You can use delicious by installing a simple bookmarklet in your preferred browser. Once installed, bookmarking a resource is just one-click away. Likewise, Delicious can automatically add browser buttons as well when a new account is created.
When clicked, Delicious automatically records URL and title of the resource while prompting  a short description and for any number of tags to the item. As you keep bookmarking relevant sources online and tagging them with appropriate keywords you automatically generate a multiple set of  views of your online resources which can also be viewed/filtered instantaneously through the tags (categories) you have attached to each one. The easiest thing you can think of doing is then to start bookmarking relevant resources in selected areas of interest and then to syndicate the content from your delicious RSS feed to your preferred site.
References:A Tool for Individualizing the Web
K.A. Oostendorp, W.F. Punch, and R.W. Wiggins
Intelligent Systems Lab, Michigan State University, E. Lansing
Computer Center, Michigan State University, E. Lansing

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